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If you’re looking for a great read this winter, check out favorite titles of 2018 recommended by members of the Baldwin Library staff, Library Board and Friends of the Library.

For Adults


America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray
This thoroughly researched novel gives readers a glimpse into the life of “Patsy” Randolph Jefferson, daughter of Thomas Jefferson. Because it was so realistically drawn, it felt like I had traveled back in time to a fascinating family saga including both the white and black Jeffersons. –Donna, youth librarian

I, Eliza Hamilton by Susan Holloway Scott
Elizabeth Schuyler was a strong-willed independent woman from a prominent family who found her own strength and voice during the American Revolution as an intellectual partner and wife to Alexander Hamilton. Historical fiction, I, Eliza Hamilton pairs well with Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton. –Deb Mohatarem, Vice President, Friends of the Baldwin Public Library

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai
The two storylines in this engaging, character-driven drama between friends in 1985 Chicago and Paris in 2015, demonstrate the depth of friendship, love, and uncertainty in the face of several unknowns including the onset of HIV and AIDS when research and treatment was still new and experimental.  –Susan, adult librarian

The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea
This novel, an intimate look into one long weekend of the sprawling De La Cruz family, starts slow but needs that time to carefully draw characters you will end up loving. It isn’t exactly about what happens, but more about the messy, gory, sweet, and sticky ties that bind a family and shape cultural identities. –Sarah, adult librarian

Munich by Robert Harris
Two estranged friends from Oxford—one British and one German—find themselves accompanying their bosses Neville Chamberlain and Adolf Hitler to the ill-fated summit in Munich in September of 1938. Munich tells the story of Guy Legat and Paul Hartmann’s worlds colliding in the face of inevitable war at the hands of an unstoppable dictator. An excellent spy thriller from a modern master of historical fiction! –Maria, Head of Adult Services

My Ex-Life by Stephen McCauley
David Hedges, discontent with his posh life in San Francisco, decides to visit his ex-wife, who runs a bed and breakfast on the coast of Massachusetts, which a realtor describes as “somewhere on the early end of the Grey Gardens trajectory.” The inevitable complications and the lively characters—each with their own dramas—make for a delightful read.–Liz, circulation assistant

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh
A young woman attempts to orchestrate a year of sleep to recharge from the perils of New York City and society in this cuttingly witty postmodern “The Bell Jar.” –Dan, adult librarian

A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
In this beautifully written, moving, and timely saga about a devout Indian-American Muslim family living in suburban America, themes of belonging and identity are at the center as relationships are tested by expectations of heritage but bound by love. This debut author eloquently describes what it means to be a family in today’s world. –Lisa, Library Assistant

Transcription by Kate Atkinson
Any year Kate Atkinson releases a new book it immediately becomes my favorite book of the year. Atkinson’s wit and genius plotting involves an unsuspecting young British woman who gets involved in spying for the Allies during WWII—and she’s uncommonly good at working buy prednisone online for dogs with the tools of the spy trade. So good, in fact, that many years later when she believes she’s left the spy trade behind, it all comes back to haunt her. –Denise, adult librarian


Bad Blood by John Carreyrou
This book was absolutely riveting—mostly for the wrong reasons. Even though the book is non-fiction, you’ll keep thinking “no way, no way” can a hoax like this one fool so many. –Melissa Mark, Library Board

Becoming by Michelle Obama
By turns an illuminating, poignant, and entertaining self-portrait of our former first lady, this is an authentic story about a smart, driven girl from a loving family on the South Side of Chicago—a descendent of slaves—who found a path to the world stage. Her personal story (“Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own”) is also the story of the American Dream; it represents all that is beautiful (and ugly) about our complicated country and time. Mrs. Obama’s narration of the audiobook is highly recommended.–Ryndee Carney, Friends of the Baldwin Public Library Board

The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting up a Generation for Failure by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt
Many students entering elite universities over the past decade have shown themselves to be fragile, obsessed with their own feelings and safety, and susceptible to a Manichaean worldview where good is always battling evil. They have demanded that universities protect them from the “violence” of offensive ideas. The authors argue that if parents and educators start encouraging children to seek challenges and recognize nuance, they’ll raise happier, healthier citizens. –Doug Koschik, Library Director

Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy
Documenting the rise in popularity and abuse of OxyContin from its first introduction in 1996 to present day, Macy paints a vivid picture of the drug crisis with compelling narratives of several addicts and their families as they attempt to get clean. This is an eye-opening book that clearly outlines the economic, social, and financial damage of a powerfully addictive drug. –Rebekah, Associate Director

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara
I love true crime and this book did not disappoint. Although the book includes many cases to keep track of, it is a compelling and creepy read. –Lauren, adult librarian

For Children and Teens

The Big Book of the Blue by Yuval Zommer
This wonderfully enticing picture book about sea creatures has beautiful blue illustrations that splash across pages and is filled with entertaining and witty commentary. I loved reading this to my granddaughter, and reading it again, and again, and again… –Kathleen, adult librarian

Dreamers by Yuyi Morales
The multimedia artwork in this picture book has a magical dream-like quality that’s accompanied by a beautiful message. The warmth and love that exudes from this book is overwhelming; it’s like a hug in a book! –H, adult librarian

Nate Expectations by Tim Federle
In the final volume of an amazing trilogy, E.T. the Musical has ended and Nate returns home to face an even bigger challenge—high school. The audiobook is read by the author and I cannot recommend it enough! Start with Better Nate than Ever if you’re new to the series. –Syntha, youth librarian

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