When Patrick, or Gay Uncle Patrick (GUP) for short, takes on the role of primary guardian for his young niece and nephew, he sets “Guncle Rules,” but soon learns that parenting isn’t solved with treats or jokes as his eyes are opened to a new sense of responsibility.
I follow Rowley's work closely and read each new book shortly after it's published. His 2021 release continues his style of engagingly playful and surprisingly emotional in this Auntie Mame-style queer romp. - Kyle, Library headquarters
Warm and funny. Everyone who I recommended it to loved it. - Library staff member
Cynical August starts to believe in the impossible when she meets Jane on the subway, a mysterious punk rocker she forms a crush on, who is literally displaced in time from the 1970s and is trying to find her way back.
An irresistible queer romance with a quirky twist! - Terra, Rohnert Park - Cotati Regional Library
A real-life “final girl”— the one girl always left standing at the end of a horror movie — Lynette Tarkington, who survived a massacre 22 years ago, along with five other final girls, works to overcome her past until someone becomes determined to take their lives apart again, piece by piece.
This dark novel surrounds a group of women who have withstood massacres, but are slowly starting to be murdered one by one. - Roxanna, Central Santa Rosa Library
After completing her Ph.D. in astronomy, a young, straightlaced, Type A personality black woman goes on a girls’ weekend to Vegas to celebrate and gets drunkenly married to a woman whose name she doesn’t even know.
A thoughtful book that asks deep questions about life purpose, internal & external expectations, and institutional racism all wrapped up in a delightfully queer love story. - Terra, Rohnert Park - Cotati Regional Library
Fleeing to her allies in the south when her realm is overrun by the forces of a mad emperor, a young heiress is embroiled in labyrinthine political games that threaten to expose her secret magical nature.
A great epic fantasy with a strong female lead who has to choose between her kingdom and her personal desires. - Kate, Rohnert Park - Cotati Regional Library
To convince her best friend that she is on her way to a happily ever after, third-year Ph.D. candidate Olive Smith, who doesn’t believe in long-lasting romance, forms a fake relationship with Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant and soon finds their experiment putting her own heart under the microscope.
If you are looking for a different fast paced contemporary romance that really focuses on emotional growth, pick up The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood. - Roxanna, Central Santa Rosa Library
After a real-life encounter with a fellow trans man and wildly popular social media influencer goes poorly, a disgruntled dog walker and former superfan enlists the help of his roommates to put a hex on him.
This was a journey of magical realism intersected with queerness. - Adriel, Sebastopol Regional Library
A subversive reimagining of Norse mythology traces the experiences of a banished witch whose unexpected passionate relationship with the trickster Loki produces three remarkable offspring before her family is targeted by wrathful gods.
Norse sagas retold from a females point of view. Angrboda must decide whether to settle with the fate that has been foretold or make her own. - Kate, Rohnert Park - Cotati Regional Library
The National Book Award-nominated author of Lost Hearts in Italy presents a tale of love and identity that follows two decades in a marriage between an African-American professor and her wealthy Italian husband in tropical Madagascar.
A lush, mesmerizing novel about a Black American professor who builds a summer home in Madagascar and struggles with her role as mistress of the house. - Allison, Healdsburg Regional Library
Elevated to prominence for her social-media posts, a woman begins suffering from existential anxieties while learning the languages, customs and fears of her fans throughout the world, before an urgent text from home transforms her virtual perspectives.
A satire? A memoir? An author stealing into my brain and recording my thoughts? THEN ... my god the ending. Biggest Heart Emoji Ever. - Library staff member
When he clashes with a scandalous, vulnerable opera diva who stands for everything he scorns, General James Duncan Blackmore finds himself willing to lay down his life for this beauty when their only chance at happiness could lead to their destruction.
An enemies-to-lovers romance that questions the patriarchal norms of Georgian England. Steamy! - Kate, Rohnert Park - Cotati Regional Library
While serving the common people Amalo, Thara Celehar, a Witness for the Dead, finds his skills leading him out of the quiet and into a morass of treachery, murder and injustice, in this stand-alone sequel to The Goblin Emperor.
The sequel to The Goblin Emperor, my absolute favorite book of 2020. A luminous, beautifully-written fantasy murder mystery, and one of the best explorations of grief, loss, and love that I've ever read. - Rose, Library headquarters
When an old friend, who has been accused of stealing millions of dollars’ worth of diamonds, desperately needs her help leaving a dead body in his wake, Elizabeth and her friends go up against a ruthless murderer who wouldn’t bat an eyelid at knocking off four septuagenarians.
A great mystery that manages to be both riveting and comforting. - Library staff member
The sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission to save both humanity and the Earth, Ryland Grace is hurtled into the depths of space where he must conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.
By the author of The Martian and Artemis, Andy Weir doesn't disappoint. He has a knack for writing true science fiction, based on science taken to logical extremes, that is readable and entertaining. This book has a unique twist. It starts out like many SciFi dramas we've seen lately, but segues into a completely unexpected and different kind of adventure. - Kim, Northwest Santa Rosa Library
Assisting Preservation Station security when he discovers a murdered body on the premises, Murderbot reluctantly speaks to humans to help identify the victim and determine what happened.
Network Effect (2020) won the 2021 Nebula Award. A truly original, hilarious sci-fi series with an absolutely unforgettable protagonist in Murderbot, a self-named and secretly self-aware AI, who is adamant that it absolutely does not care about humans. (Spoiler: it absolutely does.) - Rose, Library headquarters
A sequel to the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Sympathizer finds the unnamed “man of two minds” and his blood brother dealing drugs in 1980s Paris, where he navigates the worlds of privileged clients while trying to reconcile two politically polarized friends.
This is a fun intellectual novel with bite. - Courtney, Sebastopol Regional Library
After being forced by his Emperor grandfather into a marriage of convenience to unite their planets, Prince Kiem discovers that his intended, Count Jainan, is a suspect in his late husband’s death despite it being ruled an accident.
This was a perfect blend of space politics, fairy tale, and queer love story. - Adriel, Sebastopol Regional Library
A former Iraq war vet working as an assassin-for-hire who only accepts jobs when the target is truly a bad guy seeks retirement in the new novel from the legendary best-selling author of over 60 novels.
Dark subject matter but was absolutely a page turner. I love the nod to The Shining in it. - Lillian, Rincon Valley Regional Library
When she suddenly loses her ability to play the violin, Anna Sun must learn to listen to her heart and falls in love with a man her parents disapprove of, forcing her to choose between meeting expectations and finding happiness in who she really is.
This book was a lovely romantic story that also tackled the difficulty of putting up healthy boundaries and learning to love yourself. - Jen, Windsor Regional Library
Looking to start a new life in a small Irish village, former Chicago police officer Cal Hooper comes out of retirement to help find a missing kid and uncovers layers of darkness beneath his picturesque retreat.
Beautifully told story of loss and hope. - Angela, Library headquarters
Discovering a mysterious book of prisoner tales, a Vermont graduate student recognizes a story from his own life before following clues to a magical underground library that is being targeted for destruction.
Pure enchantment with details in every texture, smell and taste. There are cats in odd places and books and clocks everywhere. There's a bittersweet love story and another love story older than time. The settings are exquisite and the writing is magical. I think of it as modern magical realism with an academic twist. - Allison, Guerneville Regional Library
When the court of 16th-century Iran is thrown into turmoil by the heirless Shah's death, his daughter, Princess Pari, incites dissent with her efforts to instill order and taps the assistance of a eunuch servant to navigate a Machiavellian power struggle.
A suspenseful and touching novel teeming with historical information, and more than able to set multi-dimensional scenes. This work takes the reader on a meaningful journey, offering interesting formal developments along the way. - Lars, Library staff member
In the aftermath of a 1969 Brooklyn church deacon’s public shooting of a local drug dealer, the community’s African-American and Latinx witnesses find unexpected support from each other when they are targeted by violent mobsters.
Great character development, intriguing plot, ending not tragic or unrealistically happy - Sebastopol Regional Library staff member
The book is funny and serious, with a mystery twist. It allowed me to gain insight into a community/neighborhood that is usually othered by society, but it turns out to be very dynamic and filled with colorful/interesting people. - Library staff member
Sent a mysterious stuffed aardvark while planning his reelection campaign, a millennial Congressman unsuccessfully works to prevent the artifact from destroying his career before discovering his ties to a Victorian England taxidermist.
A hilarious and clever political satire. Very timely! - Jonell, Library staff member
Twenty-one years ago, with the Allies on their heels, the Nazis hid a sealed chest in the waters of the Finstersee, a lake surrounded by the Austrian Alps. One of the few men who knows of its existence is Richard Bryant, a British agent. He sets out alone to discover the secret of the lake and unleashes a series of violent reactions and deaths...
I watched the movie on TCM, and wanted to reread the book. The opening chapter is classic suspense. - Nancy, Library headquarters
A trilogy debut by the Nebula Award-winning author of Star Wars: Resistance Reborn is inspired by the civilizations of the Pre-Columbian Americas and follows the unbalancing of the holy city of Tova amid a fateful solstice eclipse.
It was nice to see fantasy written from a different cultural perspective. - Danielle, Library headquarters
Sheltering in a New York beach house with a couple that has taken refuge during a massive blackout, a family struggles for information about the power failure while wondering if the cut-off property is actually safe.
A perfect pandemic read. Deals with issues of class, race an parenting in the midst of a crisis. Dark humor indeed but so astute. - Jonell, Library staff member
Born into a never ceasing war dominated by women who summon dragons and magically strong men, Tau has no gifts, but pledges to do all in his power to avenge his murdered family members.
Fantasy series often come with a strong European influence, this book and its sequels are African-inspired. The world is grandiose, endlessly intriguing, and follows an imperfect hero. At the end one wonders why African-inspired fantasy novels are less prevalent in popular culture. - Kyle, Library headquarters
Given a curious classified assignment to evaluate the potential risks posed by six supernatural orphans, a case worker at the Department in Charge of Magical Youth bonds with an enigmatic caregiver who hides dangerous secrets.
Such a sweet story of acceptance and perseverance! - Danielle, Library headquarters
A team of scientists and their security android, who unbeknownst to the scientists has hacked its own governor module, must investigate a neighboring mission that has gone dark.
An action-packed, hilarious read about a robot who hacks his own system and goes rogue. He doesn't understand human behavior, and so he watches TV to learn about it. - Roxanna, Central Santa Rosa Library
Set against the backdrop of China's Cultural Revolution, a secret military project's signal is received by an alien civilization, which plans to invade Earth, while on Earth different camps start forming to either welcome the superior beings or to fight against the invasion.
The story is engaging, the tale is told over thousands of years. It made me want to read more about the Cultural Revolution (which I did) to understand more the culture that plays a backdrop to this fascinating story. - Jessica, Central Santa Rosa Library
The award-winning author of I Am, I Am, I Am presents the evocative story of a young Shakespeare’s marriage to a talented herbalist before the ravaging death of their 11-year-old son shapes the production of his greatest play.
An amazing novel about Shakespeare's wife and family during the black plague. - Jonell, Library staff member
Separated by their embrace of different racial identities, two mixed-race identical twins reevaluate their choices as one raises a black daughter in their southern hometown while the other passes for white with a husband who is unaware of her heritage.
A sad story, but so important to read the effects of racism on the lives and families of those directly affected. - Danielle, Library headquarters
A 50th-anniversary omnibus edition of the entire Earthsea chronicles includes more than 50 specially commissioned illustrations illuminating Le Guin's vision and stands as both a collectible for established fans and a series introduction for new readers.
This is just as good as it was the first time around! - Kathleen, Guerneville Regional Library
Nora Seed finds herself faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, or realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist, she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.
An interesting perspective on where the choices we make in our lives lead us. - Danielle, Library headquarters
Girl with Curious Hair is replete with David Foster Wallace's remarkable and unsettling reimaginations of reality. From the eerily "real," almost holographic evocations of historical figures like Lyndon Johnson and overtelevised game-show hosts and late-night comedians to the title story, where terminal punk nihilism meets Young Republicanism, Wallace renders the incredible comprehensible, the bizarre normal, the absurd hilarious, the familiar strange.
"Little Expressionless Animals" is the quintessential short story. Constructs and deconstructs. The reason I reread the book is a friend and I watched the same special on Lyndon Johnson and after discussing I reread the story "Lyndon" in the same collection. - Nancy, Library headquarters
A sequel to the best-selling Gideon the Ninth continues the story of Harrowhark Nonagesimus, whose failing health and uncooperative magic are complicated by the schemes of a would-be assassin in the twisted halls of the Emperor.
Follow up to Gideon the Ninth, one of the funniest books I've ever read, this book is epic, personal, tragic, hilarious, and full of soup. - Emma, Petaluma Regional Library
A story about the versatility of art is presented as a genre-bending conversation between forms, times, truths, and tales from the perspectives of a renaissance artist, the offspring of a 1960s parent, and others.
Half the book is the made-up story of a real artist, and the other half is the story of a teenager looking at the pictures of this artist, losing her mother & growing up. The writing is beautiful & somehow has a translucent quality. - Kathleen, Guerneville Regional Library
When four seekers arrive at a notorious old mansion, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena, but Hill House is gathering its powers and will soon choose one of them to make its own.
A thrilling classic horror novel, a must read if you watched the Netflix show! - Lillian, Rincon Valley Regional Library
"How can we trust God in the dark? Framed around the nighttime prayer of Compline, Tish Harrison Warren explores human vulnerability, suffering, and God's seeming absence as she recalls her own experience navigating a time of doubt and loss. This book offers a prayerful and frank approach to the difficulties in our ordinary lives at work, at home, and in a world filled with uncertainty"
How to pray (and claw at hope) during dark times, literally or metaphorically. - Library staff member
The London-based Telegraph columnist identifies the societally imposed gender limits that prevent women from having equal footing in careers and relationships, counseling readers on how to use the power of courageous decisions to advance personal goals.
Empowering nonfiction book about standing up for yourself and learning to say no. - Lillian, Rincon Valley Regional Library
An award-winning investigative journalist, building on her three-part series in the Miami Herald, recounts her investigation of Jeffrey Epstein’s underage sex-trafficking operation that finally brought him to justice while exposing the powerful people and broken system that protected him.
Deeply detailed history of Jeffrey Epstein. - David, Central Santa Rosa Library
Have you ever wondered about the lives of each person you pass on the street, realizing that everyone is the main character in their own story, each living a life as vivid and complex as your own? That feeling has a name: "sonder." Or maybe you've watched a thunderstorm roll in and felt a primal hunger for disaster, hoping it would shake up your life. That's called "lachesism." Or you were looking through old photos and felt a pang of nostalgia for a time you've never actually experienced. That's "anemoia."
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows poetically defines emotions that we all feel but don't have the words to express. - Vandy, Library headquarters
Examines the secret life of Belle de Costa Greene, who was responsible for shaping the Pierpont Morgan Library collection and who became a luminary in New York high society, describing how the daughter of free people of color invented a Portuguese grandmother to enter white society to take the art world by storm.
A peek into the life of J.P. Morgan's personal librarian, one of the most prominent librarians in American history. - Vandy, Library headquarters
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of They Marched Into Sunlight draws on hundreds of interviews and written sources to present a richly textured account of the 44th President and the forces that shaped his character and beliefs, tracing the experiences of family members before his birth through his entry into politics.
A deep dive into both sides of Obama's family history. - Julie, Rincon Valley Regional Library
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Warmth of Other Suns identifies the qualifying characteristics of historical caste systems to reveal how a rigid hierarchy of human rankings, enforced by religious views, heritage and stigma, impact everyday American lives.
This book literally changed my life. giving me a painful yet important understanding of the black experience in America; that our country was founded on slavery and still is. - Donale, Central Santa Rosa Library
Thought provoking. - Julie, Rincon Valley Regional Library
Suppose you could ask God the most puzzling questions about existence - questions about love and faith, life and death, good and evil. Suppose God provided clear, understandable answers. It happened to Neale Donald Walsch. It can happen to you. You are about to have a conversation...
Published in the 1990s, this channeled material is brutally honest about the repeated unconscious tendencies of human behavior that have steered us into the corner our species now finds itself in. Yet, positive change is possible every moment. - Library staff member
The Japanese Breakfast indie pop star presents a full-length account of her viral New Yorker essay to share poignant reflections on her experiences of growing up Korean-American, becoming a professional musician and caring for her terminally ill mother. Illustrations.
A touching memoir that explores grief, identity, food, and much more. Expect tears of sadness and joy every chapter. - Destiny, Central Santa Rosa Library
The New York Times-bestselling author presents a memoir of their journey through a challenging path of resistance towards success as a writer through candid and revealing correspondence with friends, lovers and family.
An extraordinary memoir by one of the most talented writers I’ve ever read! - Terra, Rohnert Park Cotati Regional Library
A world-renowned youth climate activist chronicles a year in the life of his Northern Ireland home, describing the beauty of his biosphere while juggling exams, friendships, campaigning and living with the complexities of autism.
A teenager writes about his family, what it's like to be autistic and has keen observations of the wildlife of Ireland. - Kathleen, Guerneville Regional Library
A quest explores some of the most spectacular ancient cities in human history—and aims to figure out why people abandoned them.
A fun and trippy deep-dive into four extinct cities from around the world and what they can teach us about environmental change, political turmoil, and our shared humanity. - Allison, Healdsburg Regional Library
Amy, Library staff member
This wonderful essay collection is so thought-provoking. - Katie, Library headquarters
The winner of the Nobel Prize for physics and author of The Lightness of Being explains 10 fundamental ideas that form humanity’s understand of the universe, from time and space to matter and energy.
The author is a Nobel Prize-winning physicist with a talent for communicating complicated concepts to the layperson. A beautiful and illuminating voyage through our modern understanding of space, time, matter, and energy. - Allison, Healdsburg Regional Library
The team behind Atlas Obscura, a friendly tour-guide to the world’s most amazing places, presents incredible ingredients, food adventures and edible wonders from around the world, including Chilean beer made from fog and 2,000-year-old egg ovens.
From the creators of Atlas Obscura, take a tour of what people are eating around the globe. Yum! - Vandy, Headquarters
A music historian and author recounts four-thousand-years of music history focusing on the social outcasts, riffraff, insurgents and provocateurs who became trailblazers of this artistic expression and have repeatedly reinvented it, from Sappho to the Sex Pistols.
A large-scale undertaking of the history of Music, offering crucial sociological perspectives. - Kyle, Library staff member
Exploring the wisdom and spiritual insight of the Native American experience, the author delves into the world of an old man on a plains reservation, recording his eloquent reflections on the history of his people.
A large-scale undertaking of the history of Music, offering crucial sociological perspectives. A Lakota elder takes a white man under his wing & educates him to the Indian point of view. Quite moving. - Kathleen, Guerneville Regional Library
An award-winning baker presents 125 of her favorite recipes—such as Strawberry Slab Pie, Mocha Chip Cookies and Malted Chocolate Cake—as well as lessons and techniques for both experienced bakers and beginners
Everytime I look at this book I see a dozen new recipes I want to try. - Library staff member
A career-spanning anthology of essays on politics and culture by the best-selling author of The Flamethrowers includes entries discussing a Palestinian refugee camp, an illegal Baja Peninsula motorcycle race and the 1970s Fiat factory wildcat strikes.
Essays span 20 years and all kinds of topics, plus she grew up in San Francisco. - Angela, Library headquarters
Regarded as poetry, thought bombs, metaphysical metrics, and Kodachrome luminescences, a long out-of-print collection of Yoko Ono's synthesis of the Fluxus art movement and the written word is an original work reflecting her restless creative spirit.
In a rut? Need a swift kick in the pants to recharge? Pick up this work from 1964, back in print after 30 years. Select a random page and follow the directions. A delightful book on art and life. - Vandy, Library headquarters
A career advice guide for women of color examines such challenges as the wage gap, bias and micro-aggression, outlining actionable recommendations for how to team up with progressive allies to effectively respond to workplace racism.
An important powerful manifesto about knowing your worth as a woman of color.- Roxanna, Central Santa Rosa Library
The #1 bestselling author of Too Much and Never Enough examines America’s national trauma, rooted in our history but dramatically exacerbated by the impact of current events and the Trump administration’s corrupt and immoral policies, and reveals what must be done to rebuild our faith in leadership.
U.S. history re-examined.- David, Central Santa Rosa Library
Approachable recipes with great results. - Angela., Library headquarters
A collection of teachings, reflections, and stories from around the world opens us to the challenges and deeper mysteries of midlife, with an introduction to the Eight Gates of Initiation, which opens the character and strengthens the soul.
Read the book and listened to the audiobook from this local author with several members of a Soulcollage group I belong to. We used the book to inspire creating cards related to our processes of aging. - Donale, Central Santa Rosa Library
Heather C. McGhee's specialty is the American economy--and the mystery of why it so often fails the American public. As she dug into subject after subject, from the financial crisis to declining wages to collapsing public infrastructure, she found a common problem at the bottom of them all: racism--but not just in the obvious ways that hurt people of color. Racism has costs for white people, too. It's the common denominator in our most vexing public problems.
Just so good, tackling so many aspects of society that are affected by racism in such a clear way. - Emma, Petaluma Regional Library
The award-winning Type Investigations reporter reveals how racism and xenophobia deep within Evangelical America sparked its unprecedented support of Donald Trump to reverse civil-rights advances, appoint hard-right judges, deregulate federal agencies and discredit the free press.
Listened to the audiobook and dumbfounded by the history of white evangelism, racism, white supremacy and its impact on our political system.- Donale, Central Santa Rosa Library
Examines female monsters from Greek mythology, including Medusa, the Harpies, the Furies and the Sphinx, inviting women to reimagine the perceived undesirable traits of these creatures as strengths for a new “monstrous” version of feminism.
This work helped my take personal stock within a context of feminism and myth.- Adriel, Sebastopol Regional Library
Masquerading as humans to find more wonderful shipwreck wine, three tipsy mermaids party at a seaside tourist trap before discovering the next morning that they do not know how to return to their natural forms.
A humorous and LGBT graphic novel about mermaids on land. - Lillian, Rincon Valley Regional Library
Mermaids who like to drink work a spell to go on land but are trapped being human while trying to become mermaids again. Hilarious.-Roxanna, Central Santa Rosa Library
When I was going through a hard time, this joyful graphic novel about a mermaid pod's drunk adventures picked me up. This is a book I will read again and again for laughs, heart, and bibliotherapy! - Courtney, Sebastopol Regional Library
Batman confronts various foes while the Red Hood tears apart Gotham's underworld and plans revenge on the man who killed him.
Gives insight into a different character in the Batman universe, one whose morals are more ambiguous. Through questionable acts, we see Red Hood's own twisted sense of justice. I do enjoy stories in the moral gray areas, and Red Hood is a sympathetic, and at times frustrating, character. - Jessica, Central Santa Rosa Library
Fukumaru's in the hospital and in big trouble! This turn of events leaves Mr. Kanda in big trouble too, emotionally speaking. Both the man and the cat know what it's like to be lonely, and as the days pass in a whirl, the reason Mr. Kanda weeps from time to time gradually becomes clear...
This series is so heartwarming, and you can't stop reading about this adorable cat. - Jodi, Windsor Regional Library
A beautiful board book about a blue cat visiting his diverse households in a neighborhood. Everyone is instantly charmed! -Serena, Roseland Regional Library
It's about a young boy & his sister and their incarcerated MOTHER. Hard to imagine a beautiful and hopeful book about such a sad subject! Another amazing picture book by the award-winning combination from Last Stop on Market Street. A touching and timely story about a young boy and his incarcerated mother, hoping for a better world. - Kim, Northwest Santa Rosa Library
A wordless picture book about a dog found by a woman, and their journey to reach each other. - Jen, Windsor Regional Library
- Joy, Sebastopol Regional LIbrary
Amazing pictures, Lucha Libre, what more could you want? - Library staff member
Absolutely beautiful artwork address the difficulties of adapting to a new country. - Jodi, Windsor Regional Library
Here is the next Harry Potter, with a pre-teen girl from the projects. Her older brother is missing, and Amari finds herself with supernatural powers and prejudice wherever she goes. There's self-doubt, bullies, role models, mysterious villains, twists and turns and lots of hilarious talking elevators. - Allison, Guerneville Regional Library
Unusual female protagonist who embraces living with a dragon and resists being rescued by various princes. - Jackie, Petaluma Regional Library
This is my favorite middle grade series! It has elements that are similar to Harry Potter but it deals with dark topics all the way through and has a lively cast of characters that are so fun to read about. - Emily, Roseland Regional Library
An underwater fantasy adventure set in California with Vietnamese American main characters, the most gorgeous artwork, a magical talking cat, and sea sirens and sea snakes! - Kelly, Central Santa Rosa Library
Addresses both immigration vulnerabilities, broken families, autism, etc. - Jackie, Petaluma Regional Library
Addresses both immigration vulnerabilities, broken families, autism, etc. - Jackie, Petaluma Regional Library
Nice realistic fiction, eye opening to me. - Nancy, Northwest Santa Rosa Library
This book is so weird and hilarious. My daughter and I read it twice in a row. - Katie, Library headquarters
A biographical novel that weaves myth, humor, and an amazing story of family resiliance. - Adriel, Sebastopol Regional Library
Very funny book. Kid finally gets his dog... but he suspects this strange dog is a vampire crime fighting mutt. - Jackie, Petaluma Regional Library
If you have ever lived with your extended family abroad, Waka’s experiences will especially resonate with you, but all middle grade readers will enjoy this autobiography set in Japan and U.S. in the recent past of the 1980s. - Kelly, Central Santa Rosa Library
Kwame Alexander's The Undefeated brings down the primary grade house when performed, even on Zoom. - Serena, Roseland Regional Library
Fun, humbling for the "popular jock" to be thrown into the NERDs world and try to save the day while making up for past bullying. - Jackie, Petaluma Regional Library
This adapted edition for younger readers has clear language so that anyone can learn about this very real part of of American history. - Kelly, Central Santa Rosa Library
Peter Sis's powerful illustrations mixed with the Holocaust story made me cry. - Katie, Library headquarters
Daunis, who is part Ojibwe, defers attending the University of Michigan to care for her mother and reluctantly becomes involved in the investigation of a series of drug-related deaths.
This book has a gripping storyline, a main character you can’t not root for, science & plant medicine, and an own voices incorporation of indigenous cultural practices. I can’t stop gifting it to everyone I know! - Terra, Rohnert Park Regional Library
This YA novel balances a very human story of trauma, grief, and making tough decisions and the larger picture the clash of Native American/Indigenous communities and non-Native US. - Jen, Windsor Regional LIbrary
Presents race-related anecdotes from the author's past, weaving in his thoughts on why they were hurtful and how he might handle things differently now, in hopes of bringing more race awareness to Americans.
Frederick Joseph speaks directly to the reader pointing out through real life experiences the damaging racist comments and attitudes people can make without even knowing it. A truly an engaging and thought provoking anti-racist book.- Shannon, Central Santa Rosa Library
Like Dracula meets the Starkweather homicides; I could not put this book down. - Emma, Petaluma Regional Library
I loved the spooky atmosphere, the discussion of transgender identity as a teen by a trans author, and the characters are so well fleshed out. It kept me on the edge of my seat at all times! - Emily, Roseland Regional Library
Best YA Fantasy series ever. Don't even try to act like it's not. - Jodi, Windsor Regional LIbrary
A fantastic YA thriller that puts you right in the middle of a mystery fit for Dateline. - Karen, Petaluma Regional LIbrary
Great Irish book about being a Muslim and a lesbian while dealing with cultural appropriation.
- Jodi, Windsor Regional Library
An exquisite YA historical fiction book about growing up Chinese-American and queer in San Francisco’s Chinatown in the 1950s. - Terra, Rohnert Park Regional Library
This was a YA Goodreads selection for YA this year. It was incredibly well-written and covered important topics such as bi-erasure and biphobia. A compulsively compelling read! - Karen, Petaluma Regional Library
Ignore the weird cover; this is one of the most affecting books about siblings and teen depression I've ever read. I immediately bought a copy for my sister. - Katie, Library headquarters
It was painful but the plot is so intriguing. - Library staff member
The third in the Scythe series. One of my favorite series I have read in the past few years. - Library staff member
There is an omnipresent Greek chorus of gay men, longing for the days of their carefree youth, until the tragedy of the AIDS crisis. You're on the team of every one of these characters, rooting for them against the odds of history and society, and cheering wildly when they score another win for inclusion, acceptance and especially for love. - Allison, Guerneville Regional LIbrary
YA fantasy with vital emotional growth. A dark fantasy with a high-speed pace! - Kate, Rohnert Park-Cotati Regional Library
I love the unlikely friendship between an elderly lady and a high school girl. - Jodi, Windsor Regional LIbrary
This comic book series cracks me up; who doesn't love a fashion blogger with gallows humor, terrible allergies, and terrible friends? - Courtney, Sebastopol Regional Library
A refreshingly light, short read about Autism from Michael McCreary's comedic ASD perspective. Steering clear of typically heavy, clinical reads, McCreary has created a perfectly witty yet factual read for young adults and up to understand what Autism is all about. - Shannon, Central Santa Rosa Library
For many years, George Takei has written and talked about his experiences in the Japanese internment camps. With this graphic memoir, he's reaching out to a younger audience so that all ages can grasp the horrors that were committed against Japanese Americans during WWII. Working from Takei's family photos, Harmony Becker's art is beautiful, simple, and effective. - Shannon, Central Santa Rosa Library
It was epic in scope, captured the political and economic strife from the book very well, and the scenery is beautiful. -Jessica, Central Santa Rosa Library
A beautifully shot and suitably psychedelic take on Frank Herbert's SciFi classic which, refreshingly, refrains from expository dialogue and immerses the viewer in its post-AI universe replete with floating, imperialist psychopaths and retrofuturistic costumes. -Dan, Northwest Santa Rosa Library
Follows the lives of four vampire roommates struggling to keep up with contemporary society
I have watched the first two seasons of WWDITS multiple times because it is just so funny. The third season came out this year and though I don't like it as much as the others, I am attached to the characters and what they are up to. It was an enjoyable watch and left on a cliffhanger so I need the next season ASAP! -Emily, Roseland Regional Library
After brothers Edward and Alphonse attempt to raise their mother from the dead, Edward is left without an arm and a leg and Alphonse's soul has been attached to a suit of armor, so now the brothers search for the Philosopher's Stone to restore their bodies, hoping to find it before the corrupt State Military.
A truly gripping story that keeps you on the edge of your seat beginning to end. -Library staff member
DEFINITELY for adults and older teens, as the subject matter is dark and often gruesome. But the storyline and characters touch on complicated themes of religion, evolution, loyalty and extinction. - Allison, Guerneville Regional Library
Delightful quirky British television comedy. -Nancy, Northwest Santa Rosa Library
An HBO television series of the Philip Pullman books; very well done weaving contemporary concerns with his controversial premise.
-Library staff member
Own voices story of staying true to who you really are, embracing your community, and reaching for the stars.
-Library staff member
-David, Central Santa Rosa Library
Watched the dvd twice! The music is beautiful and I was left with my heart open and much appreciation for her music during my formative years.
-Donale, Central Santa Rosa Library
Excellent acting and story telling
-Angela, Library headquarters
Seasons 1-5 of The Murdoch Mysteries TV Series - the film equivalent to Metafiction genre
-Nancy, Library headquarters
A provacative meditation on what it means to be alive in America in this current climate. -Jonell, Library staff member
The plot is engaging and the cgi is very well done. -Library staff member
British people saying nice things about each other's cakes: comfort-watching at its best.
-Rose, Library headquarters
HBO saved this series for its second season and we were rewarded with even more hilarious hijinks as Brooke and Cary Dubek seek fame and success in the face of their mother's talk show host stardom, and their youngest brothers quest to grow his music career after a viral video lead teen stardom.
-Kyle, Library headquarters
Funny and extremely rewatchable.
-Library staff member
WHAT WE LISTENED TO IN 2021
I drove around with this CD in my car for a solid two weeks and never got tired of listening to it. - Library staff member
I still put on this music and am totally thrilled by the power and clarity of her voice. -Donale, Central Santa Rosa Library
This album is something I never tire of listening too. Incredibly versatile artist!
-Karen, Petaluma Regional Library
Arguably Taylor Swifts's best album, Folklore really emphasizes Swift's songwriting abilities. -Destiny, Central Santa Rosa Library
Taylor's Releases of her first 6 albums - I just love that T-Swift is reclaiming her music and speaking out against a pretty toxic industry.
-Jen, Windsor Regional Library
Japanese Breakfast's new album was an amazing journey of songs with a fun indie pop rock sound. Michelle Zauner's creative songwriting skills really shine in this album. -Destiny, Central Santa Rosa Library
Love Yourself Tear, BTS:
Lots of meaning behind the lyrics and the album displays multiple genres that you may find appealing if given the chance. -Library staff member
Features a slamming cover of Pink Floyd's "Echoes". -Serena, Roseland Regional Library
Investigating a mysterious boating accident outside his jurisdiction, commissario Guido Brunetti and his colleague, Claudia Griffoni, discover that one of the suspects is associated with Laguna’s sinister underworld. By the award-winning author of Trace Elements.
Donna Leon audiobooks, all of them good mysteries with great depth. -Nancy, Northwest Santa Rosa Library
Gripping story, told with Andy Weir's characteristic wry sense of humor. The narration on the audiobook is fantastic!
-Sonja, Library staff member
Audiobook written and read by Billy Crystal. Like having Billy over to your house to tell funny stories about his life. Good times!
-Julie, Rincon Valley Regional Library
John Green's reading of his book The Anthropocene Reviewed is an entertaining and thought provoking journey through different facets of the modern geologic age. Green's ability to read and explain his own thoughts and opinions is impressive, and makes for a highly entertaining audiobook experience.
Hilarious and amazing fantasy audiobook read by Stephen Briggs. - Nancy, Northwest Santa Rosa Library
WHAT WE PLAYED IN 2021
Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild The accolades for this Nintendo Switch game came quickly when it was released in 2017. It lives up to the hype with a large open-world map, clever game play, an effective plot, puzzles, and enough challenge throughout the game to keep players wanting more. -Kyle, Library headquarters
Such an enjoyable game with plenty to accomplish, varying degrees of difficulty. There was a nostalgic feel to it, even though it is the first truly open world game in the franchise. Epic in scope and many hours of enjoyment. -Jessica, Central Santa Rosa Library