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On July 1, the calendar shifted to the second half of 2017, and here at the library, a new set of librarians started stocking the Staff Picks display in the North Main Book Nook. Along with a fresh collection of favorite books to choose from, we have four new voices to hear from. Today's blog post comes from one of the librarians who will be displaying her favorite books through the end of September. Janet Flewelling is Wallingford Public Library's Head of Emerging and Creative Technologies, which Janet says means she's the person who manages all of the computers in the library. In other words, she's really important!  Janet reads widely, across genres, and because she has a 45-minute drive to work (on a good day) and another 45-minute drive home from work (ditto), she often reads by listening to audio books in her car. Here are her thoughts on a recent read:

According to Merriam-Webster, serendipity is the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for.

As a full-time working mom, planning for my next read is at the bottom of my to-do list. However, I have a 90+ minute commute, so I fill the time with lots and lots of audio books. Often, after the audio book I had been listening to comes to an end, I am at a loss for what to read next. I generally open my OverDrive app and start searching for all available titles. Of course, all the hot titles are checked out, so I'm left feeling like I'm digging through the bargain bin in search of the best of the worst.

Stuck in this situation a few weeks ago, I decided to borrow Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McKreight, based solely on the description in OverDrive: "Reconstructing Amelia is a stunning debut page-turner that brilliantly explores the secret world of teenagers, their clandestine first loves, hidden friendships, and the dangerous cruelty that can spill over into acts of terrible betrayal." I had never heard of it, although the cover art indicates that it had once been on the New York Times bestseller list.
My expectations were low, since I'm a picky reader with a low tolerance for melodrama. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be extremely engaging and well-narrated. The plot traces the supposed suicide of a private school student through emails, texts, and social media posts. For a mystery, there was a good deal of character development. With an audio book, there's no exact analogy for page-turner, but I did give up my Google Music station on my morning runs in order to listen to more of Reconstructing Amelia.

What book surpassed your expectations?


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