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Dec 28

2022 Staff Favorites

Posted on December 28, 2022 at 11:17 AM by Michael Lang

A short list of some of our favorite books we read this year.

Ray Walling, Acting State Librarian

Book title with illustration of Atlas holiding a yellow clock on his back

DB104572 Four Thousand Weeks: Time management for mortals by Oliver Burkeman 

Journalist offers a guide to the philosophy of time management and to finding joy as you move through life. Beginning with the assumption that the average human has four thousand weeks to fill over the course of their life, Burkeman investigates the ways we make choices about time. Contains violence and strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2021.

Maggie Witte, Outreach Librarian

Illustration of a house perched on a cliff over ocean with van parked in front of the house.

DB 98951 The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

As a case worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, Linus Baker spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages. He is unexpectedly given a highly classified assignment: travel to a remote island orphanage where six dangerous children reside. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.

 A middle easter skyline seen through an ornate gold arched window.

DB100078 The Empire of Gold by S. A. Chakraborty

Daevabad has fallen. After a brutal conquest stripped the city of its magic, Nahid leader Banu Manizheh and her resurrected commander, Dara, must try to repair their fraying alliance and stabilize a fractious, warring people. Sequel to The Kingdom of Copper (DB 93701). Contains strong language, violence, and some descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. 2020.

Nataly Renfro, Machine Clerk

Woman with blade in hand stands atop a building looking at a city on fire.

DB 70061 Dreamfever: Fever Series Book 4 by Karen Marie Moning 

The battle for Dublin begins as fae and human worlds collide. Sidhe-seer MacKayla Lane is at the mercy of erotic cravings that draw her toward two dangerous men whom she can neither deny nor trust. Sequel to Faefever (DB 67812). Strong language, explicit descriptions of sex, and some violence. 2009.

Michael Lang, Director

A white koi fish with orange head swims among stars

DB105930, BR 24241 Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki. 

Shizuka has made a deal with the devil to deliver the souls of violin prodigies, and when she meets a talented young transgender runaway, she knows she's found her final candidate. But when Shizuka meets retired starship captain Lan Tran, her plans are soon derailed. Some violence and some strong language. 2021. 


"This book combines a whole bunch of things that I love (music, science fiction, doughnuts, video games) into a story both heartbreaking & heartwarming, about the powers of love and music."  - M. Lang


A lone cabin on an open prairie with black smoke pouring from the chimney.

DB107236 Hell's Half-Acre: The untold story of the Benders, a serial killer family on the American frontier 

by Susan Jonusas

Study of the Bender family, whose homestead in Labette County, Kansas, was the site of numerous murders and a mass grave. Discusses the social environment of the early 1870s, the Bender family and their victims, and the investigation and search for the family after neighbors discovered the crime. Some violence. Commercial audiobook. 2022.


"Whether you’re familiar with the Bloody Bender saga or a newbie, this book has something to offer. Jonusas tells the familiar tale of murder in Labette Co. and then doggedly pursues the family as they make their escape, following every possible trail to try and answer the question of what happened next. Bender experts and southeast Kansas locals might not find anything new within, but I sure did." - M. Lang 

Amanda Diggs, Production Manager

Purple and orange line drawings of a cat, skull, spiderweb, cauldron and more.

DB 92465 Toil and Trouble: 15 Tales of women & witchcraft edited by Jessica Spotswood & Tess Sharpe.

Compilation of fifteen feminist tales of women embracing their magical powers and witchcraft. In Tehlor Kay Mejia's "Starsong," sixteen-year-old Esperanza, a bruja, surprises herself when she connects on social media with a skeptic, a NASA-loving girl. Strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2018.


"I liked that there was a diversity of authors, settings, characters, and types of witches represented. Most of the stories were engaging and well-written. I think it would be enjoyable for adults as well as teens." - Amanda

Dylan Calhoon, Patron Services Manager

4 people and 1 dog silhouetted against a full moon. Purple tentacles arising from a lake.

DB 88386 Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

The teenaged members of the Blyton Summer Detective Club last solved a case together in 1977. Thirteen years later, they return to where their adventures began, to confront their inner demons and the real monsters that are waiting for them. Strong language, violence, and some descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. 2017.

Jason Brinkman, Library Assistant

Yellow background with three red dots and the title and author in black.

DB 103420 The Premonition: A pandemic story by Michael Lewis

Author of The Fifth Risk (DB 93357) and The Undoing Project (DB 87002) examines the work of scientists and pandemics experts who worked to spread the word and respond to COVID-19. Profiles include a secret group of doctors with world-class pedigrees, but no official permission. Strong language. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2021.

Silhouetted person standing under a pier looking out to the blue sea.

DB105337 The Judge's List by John Grisham

Lacy Stoltz, from The Whistler (DB 86026), is thinking about leaving the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct when she's contacted by Jeri Crosby. Jeri's father was murdered twenty years ago and believes a current judge was behind it. Lacy must discover the truth. Violence and strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2021.


"Classic Grisham" - Jason